In February for the first time ever Pro Coach Yorkshire took a touring party to Cape Town, South Africa. In a change to recent years, we relocated our usual training tour from Potchefstroom to Cape Town for a more all-round South African experience. The party was made up of 3 coaches, 12 male cricketers, 8 female cricketers and a selection of parents. It was a fantastic opportunity for all of the cricketers involved to take their pre-season training outside and finally test their skills on grass wickets after what feels like a long winter indoors!
During a jam-packed touring schedule, we managed to fit in 3 training sessions and 4 games at some of the most picturesque venues in the world. To get the opportunity to train and play at such grounds as the Jacques Kallis Oval, Wynberg and Western Province Cricket Club was an experience not lost on our two teams. Conditions were often difficult under the South African sun, especially on the dry pitches we’re not used to experiencing in England! But under the guidance of our expert coaching team, everyone came away feeling their hard work would prove to be hugely beneficial once the season rolls around.
Away from the cricket, we were lucky enough to take in some of the most amazing sights and sounds that Cape Town has to offer. These included (just to name a few!) a trip up Table Mountain, a visit to Penguin beach, a boat trip to Seal Island, a tour of Robben Island and watching a 50 over game at the historic Newlands Cricket Ground. Once the cricket portion of the tour had finished, the tour uprooted to Stellenbosch for 2 days. Whilst there, the adults of the group enjoyed a visit to one of the famous local vineyards, being guided through a tasting of the regions finest products! The whole group then spent a day getting up close and personal with the South African wildlife, including cheetah encounters at a wildlife sanctuary and an incredible afternoon spent on a game drive. Being in and amongst the wildlife in their natural environment was an experience that will live long in all our memories. Looking back on the trip everybody was in agreement – this was truly the trip of a lifetime. We can’t wait to get back there next year!